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Old March 24, 2006, 07:49 AM   #1
Ammo Junky
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Dillon 650 or 1050

I currently own an rcbs 2000. I am over all sastified with it, but would like the shell feeder and auto index. The 650 looks like a good deal. From the pic on the dillon site it looks like the base plate / heavy plate under the shell plate looks like it is aluminum instead of steel. Can any of your 650 owners asure me the pic is misleading and that the base plate is not just aluminum? I know the die plate is aluminum, but it is a cheap part and somehow doesnt bouther me as much.
Thanks
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Old March 24, 2006, 10:32 AM   #2
sindiesel666
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Dude, I seriously doubt you could ever wear out a Dillon press with normal usage. I'm not sure what is it made of, I'm deployed right now, can't really check my 650. But I can assure you that damn this is bulletproof.
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Old March 24, 2006, 12:16 PM   #3
Rivers
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I'm lookng at my 650 right now. I don't know whether the shellplate base is aluminum or not, but I agree that it ain't going to break, and it ain't going to wear out. An AR's receiver is aluminum, and they seem to do just fine, as are the action blocks for some of the finest rifle stocks made.

At any rate, if a part on a Dillon (except the 1050) ever wears out or breaks, Dillon sends a new part free.

I'll see if I can find a magnet, to check whether the part in question is ferrous or not.
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Old March 24, 2006, 12:36 PM   #4
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I'd bet the shellplate is steel. But whatever it's made of, you rarely hear of any Dillon part breaking, and when you do it's usually some fiddly little thing in the primer feed system. Never a major structural component (except the frame that got shot up in a gun store holdup some years ago - Dillon relpaced that under warranty too ) And as Rivers observed, Dillon's customer service is legendary for replacing stuff after only a toll free phone call, no questions asked. So pick the model that suits your needs, and enjoy the experience. Dillon fans are legion, and they can't all be wrong in their enthusiasm .
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Old March 24, 2006, 01:55 PM   #5
BigJakeJ1s
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The base plate under the shell plate on Dillon presses (except maybe the 1050) is aluminum. The Hornady LNL AP base plate is steel. All shell plates are steel, AFAIK. The base plate, not the shell plate, provides the upward thrust to the base of the shell, and pushes it up into the dies.

Andy
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Old March 24, 2006, 03:33 PM   #6
caz223
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Well, regardless of what material it's made from, I never hear of failures, and if there were, (At least on the 650) it would be relaced for life.
It comes down to how many calibers you load for. If you load for one caliber, and need a metric buttload of ammo (Like 10K in one caliber per month.)maybe the 1050 is a good idea. If you need 100 rounds in each of ten calibers, then the 650 is a no brainer.
The conversion kits are a lot less money on the 650 than the 1050, and the conversions are easier on the 650.
That said, I shoot a lot, and I'm perfectly happy with my 550.
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Old March 24, 2006, 05:34 PM   #7
Ammo Junky
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I know Dillon has a good rep and I realize that it would work well either way. I didn't say it was a deal braker, but I am frequently disapointed with manufactures in general using cheaper and cheaper materals to save $. My S+W 410 is the same as the 411 except for several plastic parts. I have heard beretta is now using some plastic triggers. I spent over $600 to order a Rem 700vs in .308 and was disapointed to see this expensive a gun had a plastic triger guard. I am sure most of these work well also, but I personaly have less confidence and satisfaction in equipment that seems chincy. This is the main reason I not a big lee fan. I wish somone would take lee's great ideas and make them into a higher quality proudct.
Falme away
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Old March 24, 2006, 09:22 PM   #8
Don H
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I tend to agree with you, AJ. Without mentioning brand names, I really like it that my older progressive is cast iron and has only one plastic part - the ball on the end of the handle.
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Old March 26, 2006, 12:43 PM   #9
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untold Ks

The 1050 is too tall for my shop (even though my XL650 bench is low so I may sit).

I have some knowledge of machinery, and while I've had my 'issues' with my Dillon XL650 I can still most highly recommend it for serious high-volume handgun ammo ('cause I don't do long guns) manufacturing.

And Dillon has backed me up 99%.

I also own two LEEs, both broken, one Lyman Crusher 2, and my oh-so-perfect Bonanza Co-Ax.
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Old March 26, 2006, 08:30 PM   #10
Ken O
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AJ makes a good point. How many times have I read where people hate Lee presses because it is made out of cheap aluminum, then praise Dillon which is made out of the same thing.
Myself, I don't think it matters, I own a rainbow of colors of reloading equipment, I don't own a Lee press though, I have two RCBS, and a Dillon presses.
On my dillon, I have reloaded massive amounts of ammo, I shoot IDPA, ISPC, and Steel Challenge matches, and also practice a lot. The only problem I've had is the plastic tip on the primer feed tube wearing out. Based on the amount of primers I bought, I'm guessing about 25,000 rounds when it wore out. I have the spare parts kit, replace it, then call Dillon and they send a new part out, free.
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Old March 27, 2006, 11:53 AM   #11
Rivers
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Ken, the problem I have with Lee's progressives has nothing to do with the materials (except the flimsy plastic stuff), but the design.

BigJake; Maybe my 650 is unique. The baseplate on my 650 doesn't touch the case at all. All upward force is transferred from the base through the shellplate to the case. At any rate, there are different qualities of aluminum, just as there are different qualities of steel. Aluminum is not only as good as, but is superior to steel in some applications.

I don't envision having any failures with my 650's shellplate base.

Last edited by Rivers; March 28, 2006 at 10:18 AM.
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Old March 27, 2006, 10:44 PM   #12
BigJakeJ1s
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The only cases I've heard of that involved broken/damaged base plates involved detonated primers. I'm not sure a steel plate would fare much better, although it would probably bend more than break/crack, and may therefore be repairable.

You're right about specific applications; I'd rather fly in an airplane made of aluminum than steel any day.

As for the shell plate supporting the case, that would be unique among all presses I've seen, and subject to damage the brass during resizing, since the case is designed to be supported by the base, not < 75% the top of the extractor groove, which is all the shellplate contacts. Rimmed cases are not supportable by the shell plate either. It may be that the shell plate normally floats high enough that the cartridge base does not contact the base plate until it is being shoved up into the die(s). Dillon specifically recommends to set critical dies (like seating and resizing dies) with a fully loaded shell plate.

Andy
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Old March 28, 2006, 10:48 AM   #13
Rivers
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Andy,

I don't think I was clear in my previous post. It's physically IMPOSSIBLE for the shellplate base to touch the case. Kind of grainy pic, but I believe it clearly shows that the case is ENTIRELY supported by the shellplate and, logically, can't possibly come in contact with the shellplate base. What exactly do you think the shellplate is for? When you stick a case in a shellholder in a single-stage press, don't you realize that the case is supported entirely by the shellholder?

FWIW: I don't believe that there are ANY cases on record of a Dillon 650 shellplate base having been cracked by a primer detonation.
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Old March 28, 2006, 11:52 AM   #14
Rico567
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The 650 shellplate is steel; I know because I had one that got some rust on it. the rest of the machine is a mix. The shell plate carrier (the thing that the shellplate is bolted down onto) is aluminum. And I hope that what I'm going to say next isn't going to freak out any of those people mentioned in another post who think that steel is somehow inherently superior to aluminum. If so, read no further!

Most of the "blue" in the "blue press" is aluminum:

1) the main frame.

2) the two side toggles.

3) the bottom pivot that attaches the toggles to the ram.

4) if you have the bullet tray, it is aluminum.

5) as has been pointed out, the toolhead is aluminum.

6) the "frame" of the primer feed that bolts onto the shell plate carrier is aluminum.

Everything else I can see or slip a magnet on seems to be steel.

I'm not enough of a metallurgist to know whether or not these things are forgings or investment castings, but all the aluminum & steel parts in my 650 work together very well indeed, so I'd say that the metals in the press have been incorporated into the design properly....and that's really the key, not how much of any particular metal happens to be doing a specific job.

I have another piece of equipment that's a mix of steel & aluminum parts- an AR-15. After thousands of rounds, the only part to fail has been a steel hammer spring. The aluminum receiver is doing fine, in fact, it shows no wear at all.
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Old March 30, 2006, 09:46 PM   #15
BigJakeJ1s
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Rivers,

OK, now I see. I understand how normal shell holders work, but the Hornady shell plate is different. On the Hornady, the base plate directly contacts the base of the shell, and i assumed the Dillon did the same. Thanks for the pic.

Andy
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